Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences
The Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) is a forum and voice for the arts and sciences in Holland. KNAW promotes the quality of scientific and scholarly work in the country, and ensures contributions from scholars to the social, cultural and economic development of the Dutch society.
In the 17th Century, members of the scientific community in several countries established academies where scholars could meet, such as the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
in Rome (1603) and the Royal Society in London (1660). In the 18th and 19th Centuries, governments in European countries began an initiative for the establishment of academies to serve as promoters of science and scientific cooperation. The Republic of the United Provinces of the State of the Netherlands, did not have such an institution because of the sovereignty of individual provinces. During the Kingdom of Holland (1806–10), King Louis Napoleon promulgated a decree, on May 4, 1808, and founded the Royal Institute of Sciences, Letters and Arts. King William passed a Royal Decree in 1816, confirming its establishment. The Academy bore its name until 1938, when it was named Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Academy, which selects new members each year, comprises 220 regular members under the age of 65, as well as resting members (above 65 years of age), foreign members and correspondents. The research institutes of KNAW, located throughout Holland and employing some 1,300, conduct research in life sciences, humanities and social sciences. Some of the institutes feature a scientific service by managing documentary and biological collections, as well as providing information services and establishing other research facilities. Some of the major institutes that form part of KNAW include the International Institute of Social History, Royal Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Dutch Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology. The Academy and its institutes often organise symposiums, conferences, lectures and workshops, with most of these open to the public.
As one of the world’s largest in its field, the International Institute of Social History collects documents, carries out research and offers services in the field of international and national social history, as well as the history of the labour movement. The main portion of its collections is open to the public.
The Royal Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies focuses on the advancement of anthropology, social sciences, linguistics and history, with particular attention to Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Caribbean region. The institute collects and provides access to books and other documents.
The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) carries out fundamental research of the central nervous system of the human body. NIN studies normal brain function, as well as the emergence of syndromes and development of therapeutic strategies.
The primary aim of the Dutch Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences is to promote high-quality research in the field of the humanities and social sciences; to provide an impulse towards internationalisation. The institute provides research facilities for some 50 leading researchers from Holland and abroad each year.
Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences
+31 20 5510700
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